ECI reprimands Arjun Modhwadia for objectionable remarks on Modi, warns him

Ahmedabad, 13 December 2012

The Election Commission of India reprimanded Gujarat Congress President Arjun Modhwadia for his remarks against Narendra Modi.

The ECI had found prima facie case of violation of General Conduct of Model Code of Conduct in Gujarat Congress President Arjun Modhwadia’s remarks against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and had issued a show cause notice to Modhwdia and asked him to reply latest by 5.00 pm on 24th November 2012.

As per the draft of the notice, Modhwadia had violated the Code of Conduct rule that prohibits personal attacks on the leaders of rival political parties, criticism of all aspects of their private life.

The exact rule was this: Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders of workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.”

The notice to Modhwadia had been issued after a complaint from Shri Balkrishna Shukla, General Secretary of Gujarat BJP and Lok Sabha MP in reference to Modhwadia’s speech at public meeting held at Vadodara on 2-11-2012.

As per the CD transcript of that speech, the Election Commission had found following portions objectionable:

“Every morning he asks Dr. Manmohan Singh, come and fight elections against me …. Just as a monkey climbs tree and sitting up on that tree asks the lion standing down on the ground to come up, come up …… Arrey, you will have to come down one day ………..he will not come up …….. he is a lion ……. king of the jungle.”

“Every day he repeats Dr. Manmohan Singh ….. Manmohan Singh………… Manubhai is sitting here …….Manubhai, the fact is that he is infected with rabies…. Manubhai, he has bitten by rabid dog…”

“However Chief Minister, within your life what about your married life? Gujarat knows it. Why don’t you disclose it one day? And why it didn’t work out after marrying …”

In today’s decision, the Election Commission of India observed, “Shri Arjun Modhwadia in his reply dated 27th November 2012, had while denying the allegations of violation stated that his speech has been incorrectly translated and whereas, the commission, after considering the aforementioned reply of Shri Arjun Modhwadia, has observed that Shri Arjun Modhwadia had circumvented the matter instead of sending the correct translation of his impunged speech if he genuinely believed that his speech has been incorrectly translated and. Whereas in view of the aforesaid observation, the commission is satisfied that Shri Arjun Modhwadia, prima facie, has violated the provisions of the afore said sub-para 2 of para 1 of the said Model of Conduct.”

“Now therefore the commission has decided to reprimant Shri Arjun Modhwadia for the aforesaid violation of the Model Code of Conduct and warns him to be careful in future.”